people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

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people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:59 pm

so I read an article about how some firms label themselves sporty, fratty, white shoe, etc.

How does it break down firm by firm in the V10? especially WLRK, CSM, and DPW.

And when they say sporty & fratty, do they mean truly fratty or just law firm fratty?

Can you adapt yourself to each firm or would that be transparent?

lawyerwannabe
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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:09 pm

None of the firms you listed are known as "fratty." The V10s that are considered "fratty" are Skadden, Weil, Kirkland and Latham. HTH.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby Bildungsroman » Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:10 pm

If you show up to a fratty law firm without your letters on they probably won't even invite you to spring formal.

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby staples88 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:26 pm

lawyerwannabe wrote:None of the firms you listed are known as "fratty." The V10s that are considered "fratty" are Skadden, Weil, Kirkland and Latham. HTH.


what are WLRK, CSM, and DPW known as then? white shoe? I didn't grow up in an upper class environment so I don't know whether they'd notice my unrefined behavior.

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:10 pm

I work at one of these firms.

WLRK, and to a lesser extent Cravath: They're looking for people who love the law and hate everyone and everything else. You're supposed to give up everything for your job and nobody hides it. That is the culture. There are good people, there are yellers, there are nice people, etc.

S&C: Whatever culture you get by only taking people with high GPAs, even from good schools, and screening for little else. Stereotypically a hard, hard-charging environment.

Skadden: Gigantic. I think Skadden's NYC office is the largest single location employer of lawyers the world has ever seen, and they also have offices everywhere. Pros and cons of being such a huge organization - you're likely to find many different subcultures in various offices / practices. Stereotype is "work hard/play hard" or fratty.

DPW: Stereotypically "nice" or on the reverse side of the coin "passive aggressive." People that last there tend to have drunk the koolaide and rave about the friendly culture, but the lawyers still work obscenely hard.

Cleary: Known for being quirky/weird, another place that actually gets points for people liking to work there (though obviously still over long hours). Huge emphasis on its international practice and opportunities.

STB: Honestly, I know a lot of people there (plenty that I like) but I can't get a bead on a specific culture. Not sure it has a major defining characteristic, but it's otherwise probably a lot like its peer firms.

Weil: Good bankruptcy practice; financial troubles?

If you're looking in NYC (and I hope you are because otherwise V10 is meaningless) you should also look at Paul Weiss, Debevoise, Kirkland, and a few others that are very much elite but not "V10" otherwise.

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:16 pm

Thanks. How exactly do you demonstrate a love of the work and the law if not thru grades? Do they want a love of the law (academic) or a love of their work?

so none of these firms would deny you for being like kerry minus the s&b? You dont have to know fine art or wine? Does coming from a low SES matter?

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby bdubs » Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You dont have to know fine art or wine


This:
Anonymous User wrote:They're looking for people who love the law and hate everyone and everything else.


People at these firms get really into legal issues and minutiae if you do the same you will fit in to the "work culture."

I don't think Low SES will hinder you unless you have trouble carrying on a normal conversation with people, or get really uncomfortable when people talk about things you are unfamiliar with. It's the case that most of the people at these firms come from pretty privileged backgrounds, but it's not necessarily part of the work culture. Don't act really weird when someone asks you a question that draws on your SES (e.g. Where did your family vacation when you were a kid?) because drawing a lot of attention by either awkwardly avoiding or going overboard on the "we were poor" thing will make people uncomfortable.

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:10 pm

but at the screener/CB, how do you demonstrate you're really into the legal minutiae?

moreover, if you're already in UG or LS, how do you develop the interests that people at these firms share, if the goal is to demonstrate fit via cultural similarity?

get up on that fine art/wine?

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby BullShitWithBravado » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:25 pm

Reach out to alums as well as 3Ls from your school who summered at those firms and ask them what the firm culture is like. They'll be able to give you the best answer to this question.

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby bdubs » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:but at the screener/CB, how do you demonstrate you're really into the legal minutiae?

moreover, if you're already in UG or LS, how do you develop the interests that people at these firms share, if the goal is to demonstrate fit via cultural similarity?

get up on that fine art/wine?


Are you an undergrad? If so this is totally the wrong thing to worry about and you don't belong in this forum. You are seriously obsessed with art and wine. Very few people, even partners who can afford to be into those things, will care to have a conversation with you about art or wine that is much longer than 10 minutes.

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:08 pm

Same anon as above who works at one of these firms:

Some people will Come From Money, take vacations in the hamptons, etc. But plenty of people at these firms went to public schools and come from very varied backgrounds. Socio-economic status really won't be a factor at all, as long as you have an interesting story to tell it doesn't really matter what that interesting story is.

Don't read too much into the legal minutae comment, and don't think too much about "proving" yourself. You're looking for admission to a club which really only has three requirements:

(1) Proven Intellect and Pain Tolerance. This is the combo of your school and grades that got you the interview, plus assorted resume line items. Nothing - or almost nothing - can be done about it once you're at the interview stage, so let it slide.

(2) Tolerability while trapped on a deal / airplane / diligence room. This is really what you want to sell in the interview: your ability to be a pleasant human being. It's not about status and its not about cleverness, you just want them to like you and be able to envision working with you.

(3) Ability to hold it together for 20 minutes. You can't make any mistake so glaring that bringing you on in a client-facing role would be risky.

The "culture" at each firm might make point 2 easier or harder, depending on your personality, but there's no silver bullet and so much is handled in #1 and the getting the interview stage that you need to just relax.

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby law321 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:so I read an article about how some firms label themselves sporty, fratty, white shoe, etc.

How does it break down firm by firm in the V10? especially WLRK, CSM, and DPW.

And when they say sporty & fratty, do they mean truly fratty or just law firm fratty?

Can you adapt yourself to each firm or would that be transparent?


For me, very transparent. In my view, fit needs to be natural - you have it, or you don't.

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If you're looking in NYC (and I hope you are because otherwise V10 is meaningless) you should also look at Paul Weiss, Debevoise, Kirkland, and a few others that are very much elite but not "V10" otherwise.


Subtle Kirkland NYC negging?

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Same anon as above who works at one of these firms:

Some people will Come From Money, take vacations in the hamptons, etc. But plenty of people at these firms went to public schools and come from very varied backgrounds. Socio-economic status really won't be a factor at all, as long as you have an interesting story to tell it doesn't really matter what that interesting story is.

Don't read too much into the legal minutae comment, and don't think too much about "proving" yourself. You're looking for admission to a club which really only has three requirements:

(1) Proven Intellect and Pain Tolerance. This is the combo of your school and grades that got you the interview, plus assorted resume line items. Nothing - or almost nothing - can be done about it once you're at the interview stage, so let it slide.

(2) Tolerability while trapped on a deal / airplane / diligence room. This is really what you want to sell in the interview: your ability to be a pleasant human being. It's not about status and its not about cleverness, you just want them to like you and be able to envision working with you.

(3) Ability to hold it together for 20 minutes. You can't make any mistake so glaring that bringing you on in a client-facing role would be risky.

The "culture" at each firm might make point 2 easier or harder, depending on your personality, but there's no silver bullet and so much is handled in #1 and the getting the interview stage that you need to just relax.


Well what I'm saying is that because most of hte people at those firms take vacations in the hamptons, my story might not be all that interesting to them. Also, what is a story anyway? Mine is the standard K-JD who hasn't done anything and just wants biglaw.

How is 2 different from 3? When you sell yourself, do you have to be exciting and fun or do you just have to not be frozen for 20min? Does this vary from WLRK to K&E?

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby frankc » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:35 pm

This seems really premature to worry about at any stage before you (hopefully!) have to choose between multiple offers. At that point you should already have at least some idea of what firm culture is like, and you will have many opportunities to gauge it for yourself (offer dinners, second looks, etc.).

In terms of selling yourself at the screener/CB stage, don't overthink it. Keep the conversation moving, don't be too weird. Be yourself - you may be spending years at this firm so if your personalities don't mesh, you want to find that out early on.

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:42 pm

just being myself isn't helpful if the question is how do I adapt my personality to be deemed a fit at a given firm, especially b/c getting CSM/DPW is more important to me than is fitting in

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:just being myself isn't helpful if the question is how do I adapt my personality to be deemed a fit at a given firm, especially b/c getting CSM/DPW is more important to me than is fitting in

honestly, the differennces in these firms' cultures aren't so different that you won't get hired at Skadden b/c you're not bro-y enough, but will get hired at Simpson b/c you're very reserved. If you are nice and personable, it's going to go way further than fitting a cultural archetype.
That said, certain firms do look for certain character traits - Kirkland wants entreprenurial types whereas Simpson has a more formal assignment process and therefore doesn't probably value that trait in the same way. Though these types of things aren't the same as fitting in with the archetypes mentioned ITT.

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:03 pm

re nice and personable: does this mean exciting, cheerful, energetic, or does this mean just don't freeze up?

also, I can be that and adapt my personality to better fit a given firm. The question then becomes which personalities to adapt to and how

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby Stanford4Me » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:just being myself isn't helpful if the question is how do I adapt my personality to be deemed a fit at a given firm, especially b/c getting CSM/DPW is more important to me than is fitting in

Why do you want to be at these firms? If you're able to coherently convey that in an interview that will do you worlds more good than trying to somehow "prove" that you fit in with the culture. Stop focusing so much on try to "adapt" your personality, because I can guarantee you it's not going to work.

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby BullShitWithBravado » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:re nice and personable: does this mean exciting, cheerful, energetic, or does this mean just don't freeze up?

also, I can be that and adapt my personality to better fit a given firm. The question then becomes which personalities to adapt to and how


You should just be yourself. Hiring parters and recruiters have a lot experience when it comes to interviewing and selecting candidates. There's a good chance that they'll see through your fake, adapted personalities and, if they do, you won't get an offer.

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby law321 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:29 pm

Stanford4Me wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:just being myself isn't helpful if the question is how do I adapt my personality to be deemed a fit at a given firm, especially b/c getting CSM/DPW is more important to me than is fitting in

Why do you want to be at these firms? If you're able to coherently convey that in an interview that will do you worlds more good than trying to somehow "prove" that you fit in with the culture. Stop focusing so much on try to "adapt" your personality, because I can guarantee you it's not going to work.


I would strongly recommend you follow this advice. Despite what you may think, even if you get an offer, you will not be able to "adapt your personality" for an entire summer, trust me.

Once people realize you do not fit in, your chances of a no offer increase dramatically. In short, you are taking an unnecessary risk that could result in a no offer.

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby frankc » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:41 pm

Thread reeks of arbitrary V10 prestige whoring. Why is it more important to you to be at CSM or DPW than it is to find a place with like-minded people? Do you really want to have to "adapt [your] personality to be deemed a fit at a given firm" every day for the first 5 years of your professional career?

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby aces » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:52 am

Something else to consider: each of the V10 (or other large NYC firms) have enough attorneys that even if there is a general "reputation"/"culture" for the firm as a whole, there is also still a tremendous degree of heterogeneity within each firm (including both between and within individual practice groups). Aside from a handful of firms that stand out in one way or another (I'm thinking specifically of Quinn), most other firms of this caliber are much more similar than they are different. At this point in the game, your time is probably better off spent researching each firm assiduously and honing your "what did you do last summer?", "why law", "why this firm," etc. spiels than trying to develop a whole new set of interests that you think will appeal to the white shoe-types at Davis Polk or totally change your personality to fit a TLS stereotype meme.

EDIT: One last note. The idea of you trying to change your personality interview-to-interview or trying to learn all you can about the Hamptons/art/wine last minute so you can pretend to be interested in them sounds like a terrible sitcom plot. For the love of god, don't do it. It doesn't take too much for someone to figure out you're full of shit, and once they do, you're dead in the water.

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:08 pm

but what I'm saying is that I can both prepare my answers to standard interview questions and develop a new set of interests. Not 10 different sets, just one or 2 to appeal to firms I especially want.

And it won't be like I'd develop the interests a week before the interview.

Hence I'm asking what culture prevails at a given firm and how I can demonstrate that I share the culture @ e.g., WLRK, CSM, & DPW.

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Re: people interviewing with V10: cultural fit?

Postby NYstate » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:but what I'm saying is that I can both prepare my answers to standard interview questions and develop a new set of interests. Not 10 different sets, just one or 2 to appeal to firms I especially want.

And it won't be like I'd develop the interests a week before the interview.

Hence I'm asking what culture prevails at a given firm and how I can demonstrate that I share the culture @ e.g., WLRK, CSM, & DPW.


I hate to break this too you but interviewers can tell within very few minutes if you will fit in. The best way to fit in is to be the professional version of yourself. (See edit below). You don't have to be a member of the Westchester Country Club. You are wasting your time trying to figure this out.

Edit: the best way to fit in at any firm is to be smart, detail oriented and easy to work with. You have to have confidence in yourself. If someone mentions a hobby, you can always say how you find that interesting and would like to learn more. Also, sports might come in handy.




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